Trump is set to send a rescission package to Congress, impacting the CHIP programme
Courting controversy since his inauguration in January 2017, President Trump is set to announce his decision to request up to $15bn in spending cuts from Congress this week.
The spending will come from leftover funding from previous years, in areas such as over $100mn allocated to natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and $250mn reserved from the Ebola epidemic, Democrats are outraged at reports that up to $7bn will be from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Senior officials have strongly stated that such cuts will not impact current successful programs, but the decision has come under fire.
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“It appears that sabotaging our health care system to the detriment of middle-class families wasn’t enough for President Trump and Republicans; now they’re going after health care dollars that millions of children rely on, especially during outbreaks of the flu and other deadly illnesses,” commented US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.
Through the move the $1.3 trillion spending bill will remain unchanged, Fox News reports, but will eliminate wasteful spending.
Whilst House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has described the rescission package to “a much-needed spring cleaning,” Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee added: "We’ll look at it and see. If it’s frivolous stuff that we can get rid of and save the taxpayer money, we ought to do it."
A new app is providing vital palliative care in Ethiopia
A new mobile phone app has been developed to support patients needing end of life care in Ethiopia.
The Ayzot app has been created in collaboration between the UK's University Surrey, the University of Strathclyde, Hospice Ethiopia, the Federal Ministry of Health and Hello Doctor Ethiopia, an Ethiopian-based software company.
The app is named after a common Ethiopian expression roughly translated to mean "to soothe a sick person". The app is aimed at supporting patients with life-limiting illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS, by helping them manage pain along with other symptoms.
A self-assessment management system leads the patient or carer through a common set of symptoms such as pain, nausea, drowsiness, breathlessness, tiredness, and loss of appetite.
Successful symptom management
Both patients and carers are encouraged to use the Ayzot app to assess the severity of each symptom using a combination of measures, including a pain assessment scale. The app contains both pharmacological and non-pharmacological medication information, and where appropriate it directs the user to get help and further information on things like wound care, spiritual care and diet.
During beta user-testing, carers reported positive changes in how they treated their loved one’s wounds because of the advice found on the app. Healthcare professionals commented on the app's potential to support them in delivering targeted care with limited resources. The patients testing the app reported that it helped them feel more reassured and supported with their pain management and symptom control.
Accessing palliative care
The majority of Ethiopia's 114 million people live in rural locations where access to palliative care is difficult, and there is only one hospice in the entire country. The pandemic has made accessing care even more difficult. "During the COVID-19 pandemic, access to essential palliative care in Ethiopia has been reduced" Dr Nicola Carey, from the School of Health Sciences at the University of Surrey said.
"I believe the app will help prevent disease and treat patients. We hope that Ayzot will be embedded into the national palliative care clinical provision to support healthcare professionals and provide enhanced palliative coverage in Ethiopia.”
The team behind Ayzot are now planning to test the app in other African countries.